We have seen already that there is more than one kind of weakness from disease. There may be oppression, as in the early stage of almost any acute disorder; or depression (prostration) from a great shock, such as a railroad accident, crushing a limb, or from the lowering influence of typhus or typhoid fever; or exhaustion, such as will be produced by a large hemorrhage, an attack of cholera morbus, or a severe disease of some length of continuance.

For oppression, in a person of good constitution and strength, unloading the system is needed--by sweating, purging, and action of the kidneys.

For depression, support is called for. Experience indicates that alcoholic stimulation is, in sudden or great prostration from any cause, the most effectual. It may enable the system to tide over the time of weakness and danger, so that all will go on well again; whereas, without it, the patient may sink and die.

Alcoholic stimulation is very often abused. It is employed when there is no occasion for it, and when required it is frequently too great in amount. Every little feeling of weakness does not properly call for a glass of wine or whiskey; far from it. Fainting is better treated by fresh air, as much as possible; dashing or sprinkling with cold water on the face, and ammonia. Smelling salts (carbonate of ammonium) put, for a moment at a time, under the nostrils, will hasten recovery from a faint. When swallowing is possible, twenty or thirty drops of the aromatic spirit of ammonia may be taken in a wineglassful of water.

But when a person is almost dead from loss of blood, or an extensive burn, or the shock of a railroad accident, with white lips, shrunken cheeks, cold skin, and rapid, thready pulse, we need to stimulate with alcohol, but not too much. A teaspoonful of whiskey will be enough, in many instances, repeated in ten or fifteen minutes, if the patient does not show reaction. A tablespoonful will be a large enough dose at one draught in any case. More will do no better towards stimulation, and the after effect will be worse. Always, moreover, such stimulation must be withheld as soon as the depression has passed away, and then the less alcohol he has had put into his system the better.